Online Privacy: Apple vs Facebook

By: William Sikkens
Host, User Friendly 2.0 Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

You may have found that when you search for something online ads start appearing for it on other websites.   This probably isn’t your imagination – it’s a tool that the advertisers use called “add tracking”.  This is big business for big tech companies including social media like Facebook.  They can make more revenue if they are able to deliver advertisements to you on something you have expressed interest in.   It’s such big business that the upcoming change Apple is making has caused Facebook to threaten an antitrust lawsuit.

Apple has been running a “pro-privacy” platform on their products for a while now.   In many ways this is good for users as there is a focus on keeping your information private.  To this end more changes have been announced for iOS 14.  While iOS 14 came out last Fall some of the restrictions were delayed until 2021 to allow developers more time to make necessary changes.

Now planned to launch in early Spring, you will be prompted to “opt-in” to Add Tracking.  The fear by Facebook and other companies is that when users know this exists they will opt-out which may reduce advertising revenue.

Big Tech went on to say that if too many people opt out of targeted advertising many free apps (which are advertising supported) will begin charging for use.

At the end of the day this change won’t prevent Internet users from seeing advertising.  The change is it won’t be targeted based upon websites you visit, so if you opt out you won’t have the same product promoted across different websites.

William (Bill) Sikkens has been an on-air technology expert since 2014. With an expertise in I.T., cyber security and software design he has had more than 20 years’ experience with advanced technology. Sikkens conceptualizes and designs custom applications for many professional industries from health care to banking and has the ability to explain the details in a way all can understand.  Article edited by Gretchen Winkler, who along with Jeremy Winkler are the co-hosts of User Friendly 2.0 here on The Answer Saturday’s at 5:00 p.m.

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Got a technology question or comment for Bill? Follow him on Twitter @sikkensw